Unless we fundamentally change the reward systems in place for politicians, we will continue getting mostly the 2nd tier of leaders representing us.
I rarely meet anyone who believes that the best and the brightest actually go into politics. It’s a career choice fraught with headaches and uncomfortable public scrutiny, and one in which you spend more time fighting off obstacles than making real forward progress. No matter how earnestly a powerful politician wants to change the country for the better, the job always turns out to involve more compromised failures than comprehensive successes. And it doesn’t even pay very well.
Meanwhile in business, bright ambitious charismatic stars can have it all: enormous wealth, a judgement-free private life, actual unilateral power to make the hard-choices in the name of progress, and even the opportunity to make the world better if they are with the right companies.
For probably a few minutes each month, I dream of being in politics. Then my sense kicks back in and I get back to trying to make a real difference in the world instead.